Table for Two

Indian cuisine meets Asian fusion

Posted

Color of Spices

306 Sunrise Highway,

Rockville Centre

(516) 705-8888,

www.colorofspicesny.com

From unique cuisine to lavish décor, Color of Spices brings something different to Rockville Centre’s popular restaurant row. It’s been many years since the town has seen a place for traditional Indian cuisine, and this is a restaurant with numerous regional influences, plus flavors of neighboring countries.

While Color of Spices just opened, owner, Chef Ram Bisht and his wife, Malti, are seasoned restaurateurs. Starting his career in Bombay, Chef Ram cooked at Windows of the World, co-owned Tandoor Grill in Rockville Centre, and currently owns Raagini in Baldwin and Tandoor Grill in Long Beach. So, the restaurant already runs flawlessly, with attentive well-informed servers.

Stunningly palatial best describes the interior. Reminiscent of a palace in India, there are golden embellished archways and ceilings, accented by decorative throne-like chairs brought over from India. Linen-dressed tables are topped with copper goblets.

Portions are generous and the menu is huge. Appetizers are $5.99 to $12.99. Curry dishes (over forty choices!), Kebabs from the tandoor oven, and Biryanis (rice mixtures) are $9.99 to $20.99. Homemade Indian breads are $2.99 to $10.99 for a basket. Indian Chinese Chili dishes are $12.99 to $17.99. Desserts are $4.99. A sumptuous Buffet Lunch is served 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday, $16.99 and $11.99 for children, and Tuesday through Friday, $13.99 and $9.99 for children.

We started with Vegetable Samosa, crisp triangular pastries filled with potatoes and peas. Vegetable Pakora Appetizers, an assortment of battered fritters, were served with a trio of sauces: mint chutney, tamarind and raitha. Garlic Shrimp, prawns in sweet and sour sauce, had a spicy kick. Mango Lassi, a fruity yogurt drink, was refreshing and smooth.

Sauces are best complemented with fragrant Basmati rice, and the creamy gravy of Chicken Tikka Masala, served in a copper vessel, was outstanding. Jerk Kebab, dark meat chicken, had the spices and heat of Jamaica. Malai Kebab offered roasted chicken with almond sauce. Chicken Seekh Kebab was ground meat with fresh ginger and herbs, wrapped around a skewer. Chili Chicken, an Indian Chinese dish, was perked with garlic, onions, pepper, vinegar and oyster sauce. Rosemary Garlic Naan — flat fine flour dough baked in a tandoor oven — was an amazing Indian bread.

Desserts are all traditional. Gulab Jamun, fluffy cardamom-spiced balls were soaked in honey-like syrup. Chilled Ras Malai was pistachio-dotted soft cheese served in milky sweet sauce.

While they await their liquor license, it is BYOB — bring your own bottle — of wine. Catering is available for off-premise events. Small groups at the restaurant can be accommodated, and for larger parties, there’s a private room at Raagini in Baldwin. Hours at Color of Spices are Tuesday through Sunday, lunch 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., and dinner 5 to 10 p.m. They are closed on Monday. Take-out and delivery are offered. Reservations are suggested.

Recommendations:

■ Mango Lassi

■ Vegetable Samosa

■ Vegetable Pakora Appetizers

■ Garlic Shrimp

■ Rosemary Garlic Naan

■ Chicken Seekh Kebab

■ Malai Kebab

■ Jerk Kebab

■ Chicken Tikka Masala

■ Chili Chicken

■ Gulab Jamun

■ Ras Malai